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Andrea Mitchell Reports

News/Business. Interviews with political figures with host Andrea Mitchell. New.

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China 18, U.s. 12, Us 10, Florida 5, Andrea Mitchell 4, Sec 4, Assad 4, John Kerry 4, Washington 4, Syria 4, Mitch Mcconnell 3, Erskine Bowles 3, Kerry 3, Oscar Pistorius 3, Shanghai 3, Warfarin 3, Pentagon 3, Afghanistan 3, Alan Simpson 2, Clinton 2,
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  MSNBC    Andrea Mitchell Reports    News/Business. Interviews with political  
   figures with host Andrea Mitchell. New.  

    February 19, 2013
    10:00 - 11:00am PST  

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president obama turns up the heat on republicans. >> republicans in congress face a simple choice. are they willing to compromise to protect vital investments in education, in health care, and national security and all the jobs that depend on it, or would they rather put hundreds of thousands of jobs and our entire economy at risk just to protect a few special interest tax loophole that is benefit only the wealthiest americans and biggest corporations? that's the choice. >> is there another way with only days to go before the automatic spending cuts kick in? re-enter the bipartisan budget cutters, the duo of simpson and bowles. >> there's no sfri in the country that makes cuts across the board. you try to cut those things that have the least adverse effect on productivity. second, we are cutting those areas where we actually need to invest education, infrastructure, research, and,
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third, they don't make any cuts in those things that are going faster than the economy. that's stupid, stupid, stupid. >> with us, former white house press secretary and a new msnbc contributor robert gibbs. cyber wars. china's army now targeting u.s. pipelines and nuclear plants. with us to discuss, the authors of a new report tracing the attacks to military headquarters in shanghai. plus, play of the day. while the press corps was banned from the president's golf outing, tiger woods, david letterman fills in the missing links. >> this is our president playing golf this weekend. huh? >> that's one way to do it. good day. andrea mitchell live in
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washington where president obama is surrounded by uniform police and is now issuing dire warnings about the consequences if automatic budget cuts, the sequester, will create job losses and a setback to the recovery if that goes into effect next week. in response senate republican leader mitch mcconnell still prefers campaign events to -- joining me now for our daily fix, chris calizza and managing editor of post politics.com. well, chris, we saw the performance at the white house. this was a set piece, if you will. the instant response from mitch mcconnell. the bottom line is neither side is negotiating. the white house now assumes the sequester is going to go into effect. is this going to be worked out by continuing resolutions by the end of march? a little bit of short-term pain, long-term gain? >> yep. you know, andrea, i think performance on both sides is the right word.
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look, i think the policy debate over whether a deal with get done between now and march 1st to avert the sequester is over. congress is away for the president's day week. when they come back, there's wide disagreement on how to do this. should tax increases, tax reform be included? the way washington works, they're not going to get something like this done before march 1st. mitch mcconnell, john boehner know that, and president obama knows that. what you are seeing now is the positioning for the fight after the sequester kicks in. there will be some initial pain felt, particularly by federal workers. some in the defense industry. remember, this is $1.2 trillion in duts over a decade. a lot of this stuff can be averted even if the sequester does initially kick in. what are you seeing both sides do, particularly president obama, is positioning for the debate to come and basically saying it's their fault, i told them this was going to be hurtful for the american economy and worker. it is so that he anchors those negotiations with a political upper hand to get more of what
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he wants out of this deal. >> and we do have this breaking news that the white house has now announced that the president today met with general john allen and accepted his resignation, his retirement. he will not be the nato supreme allied commander. he had been nominated, and they had told us only five or six days ago that he was still -- the pentagon still wants him to take that position. he was temporarily sidelined by an inquiry into whether they were inappropriate emails between him and jill kelly, the tampa woman involved in the whole petraeus situation, and then he was cleared of any wrong doing by the pentagon. >> you know, we're told now that this -- i mean, this is a sad episode. we're told he did not want to come to -- his family would be involved, and he would have to answer questions.
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>> you know, draen, i think this shows you that even when you are cleared now the damage done. it's -- it seems hard for me to believe that if the whole jill kelly episode hpt ever aired publicly, that he would have decided he would have wanted to step aside. it seemed like he was on the fast track to get that job. these things -- i think what everyone forgets, this is true with military, this is true with particularly at that level, and it's absolutely true of politicians. these people are people. the focus of the coverage of these emails got lots and lots of attention. the focus of him being cleared got some attention, but not as much. you know, i think he probably just made a decision, i think we saw this with mike johansson,
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the nebraska senator who didn't go through anything like this, but the process of running for office or these appointments it's not worth the price of admission. apparently general allen in talking to the washington post, i believe, on sunday night. >> his wife has some chronic medical issues and take care of her. he, for, you know, years was in the military and for 19 months in afghanistan he was the head of isaf in afghanistan. i mean, we just have to thank him for his service and everything that he has done for the united states. >> absolutely. absolutely. >> thank you so much. chris calizza. here now to talk about the sequester and a lot else, robert
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gibbs -- >> just the years of military service for this marine and for him to be side tracked as collateral damage, if you will, by the storm of controversy over the petraeus matter, which was a legitimate issue, but his were emails that had to be looked into, i suppose i by the pentagon once the issue was raised. what do you say? >> i'm struck by two things. one that chris said, which was that oftentimes the story and the innuendo is always a lot bigger than when general allen got cleared, and, secondly, what you said about the chuck hagel hearing. you see this, again, with senators that are trying -- that are retiring, that we never expected to retire, and that is the wear of the game of this town is taking its toll on the very people you want in government at a time in which we have to address the big problems
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that we have in this country, and you wonder if that game sort of continues, this sort of chicken and egg, chicken -- cat and mouse kind of thing. are we really going to take the best and the brightest and steer them away from, again, solving the biggest problems that we have in this country? >> let's stipulate late that on "meet the press" you were one of those, a democrat, and a former white house official who said that hagel's performance wasn't good to put it mildly, that he did not seem prepared, he did not know how to respond to john mccain and other critics. at the same time a lot of people are suggesting that ted cruise's attack on him and this continual, you know, lindsey graham now saying let's take a look at the rutgers speech and now they're demanding five years of back finances, not two years, which is a new standard as carl -- >> i think to be clear, i think the standard that lindsay graham and others are doing for finances for the secretary of
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defense is not one that their party's nominee for the white house to be commander in chief could or would have met just a few months ago when he was running for the presidency. remember, mitt romney's big excuse on giving us more information on kaymen investments is i filled out all that is required in the financial disclosure forms. now lindsay graham wants i think every private thought that chuck hagel has ever ever had and every public word that he has ever uttered. look, i think it is shameful what he is having to go through on that side of this. they're not questions that are holding this up based on what his thoughts are on iraq or -- i'm sorry. not on iraq, but on afghanistan, but instead on stuff that's played out or in benghazi, which, quite frankly, he had nothing to do with. he was a private citizen. >> when we get to the budget issue, the president is coming out there, and approximate showing the dire consequences of what happens with this meat clever approach, as he said.
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republicans -- house and sfat are on recess, so there's certainly no negotiation going on even at staff level apparently right now. now what happens? we go to the next stage, which is the automatic cuts go into effect, and they start talking about a continuing resolution, and further kicking the can down the road? >> i do think -- i do think there will be an attempt and you saw this by the president, and you see the democrats in the senate trying to do something to at least staif off temporarily the first round of -- or the first year of those cuts. maybe give them a month or two months to try to get back into this same room and work through the sequester and the continuing resolution. >> republicans say nothing doing. >> well, and look, the republicans have spent the better part of the last two weeks trying to blame the president for his idea of the sequester to begin with, so i think what is shameful about this whole process is republicans are -- they're happy to be in the school yard throwing rocks. they have no desire to go into the principal's office and try to solve the problem, and i
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think that's going to leave us with, in all likelihood, as you mention, sequester going into effect a week from friday, and we know the devastating impacts that it can have. look, we saw in the latest gdp report what happened to defense spending and its impact on our overall economy just at the mere threat that at the end of the year we would have sec west rags. this was an idea put in place that would be so bad that everyone would do all that they could to avert it and it looks now like it won't be averted. >> and, of course, your successor, jay carney, was asked about access from the white house and transparency. politico wrote about behind the curtain and quoted ann compton from abc who has covered every white house since gerald ford's saying this is the least transparent. it doesn't matter how many interviews are done, but that the white house reporters do not get to question with -- they
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don't get to hear information about policy decisions in process that are about to be made on immigration, on guns. >> it takes everybody to lift the veil a bit, as much as is possible on the backgrounding of how one does policy. there will always be tension between the president and the press corps regardless of who that is. in terms of transpirn si, look, i have sat in that office for two years and helped make the decision to -- for one thing had on transparency, let's lift on a month by laces the list of every person that walks in the white house. that's a big, big step, and one that seems easy now, but had never been done before we got in there, so i think the level of transparency in this white house is different, but there's no doubt there will always be tension here as long as the -- there is a republic with a president and a working press corps. i read that article, and i didn't miss my day job. >> well, we're glad you are here
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as part of your day job. >> thanks for having me. >> a cyber war with china. just how dangerous could it get? we'll talk to two security experts who say that the chinese military is behind a series of hacking attacks on the u.s. and later, we're live in south africa as oscar pistorius returns to court. this is andrea mitchell reports only on msnbc. [ male announcer ] let's say you pay your guy around 2% to manage your money. that's not much, you think. except it's 2% every year. go to e-trade and find out how much our advice and guidance costs. spoiler alert: it's low. it's guidance on your terms, not ours. e-trade. less for us. more for you.
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a u.s. security firm has now exposed the role of china's military in cyber attacks on criminal u.s. companies, including companies involved with the electrical power grid, with water works, and pipelines. is the threat highlighted by the president in his state of the union address only last week. >> we know hackers steal people's identities and infiltrate private emails.
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we know foreign countries and companies swipe our corporate secrets. now our enemies are also seeking the ability to sabotage our power grid, our financial institutions, our air traffic control systems. we cannot look back years from now and wonder why we did nothing in the face of real threats to our security and our economy. >> vice president at the firm that released this new report on chinese cyber attacks, and chris johnson is a former intelligence official who spent a lot of time in china over the years and is now at the center for strategic and international studies. welcome both. well, first to you, brady. this report is pretty scary stuff. we've always known that there was chinese hacking as long as i've been covering foreign policy. we've talked about chinese hacking, but this really pinpoints the chinese military. you've zeroed in on a particular area in shanghai. tell me what the significance of that is. >> that's right, andrea. what makes it report different is rather than speculating these
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attacks might come from china, we've shown quite a bit of evidence that directs this to a pla unit 61398. we can say with definitive accuracy that the attacks were coming out of a single subnet or several subnet that is go back to that one neighborhood in shanghai. >> among the targets are companies involved in critical infrastructure entities, which we're talking about pipelines and water works and, you know, the electrical grid, nuclear power plants. >> almost no sector was spared. we saw everything from high-tech manufacturing to transportation, defense, but, you're right. a lot of the sectors that were targeted were part of the nation's critical infrastructure, and that gives us concern. >> as a former intelligence official, what is the national security implication of this? >> i think this just underscores how pervasive china's effort is on cyber hacking and on cyber security, the need for cyber security from the u.s. standpoint. when these companies are engaging in business in china, they really are going up against the full group of resources of the chinese government. >> when we talk about this at
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the same time what the chinese might say to us is wait a minute. you guys do it too. look at stucks -- look at what is happening against the iranian nuclear facilities. i'm not asking you to confirm anything the u.s. may or may not be doing. from my sources i can tell people that this is an american engagement with israel and others. >> right. i would say it's kind of an apples and oranges comparison, though. in one instance we're talking about state versus state. if the u.s. were to, say, target a uranium enrichment plant in iran, that's a state taking action against another country. this is much more asymmetrical. this is the full weight and force against the chinsz military going after private companies, western companies that are defenseless against that kind of might. it's very different than one country going after another country in a cyber battlefield. >> isn't that a dis ukz between a difference, though? the chinese military versus american infrastructure compared to the u.s. government against an iranian facility? >> it's cross aing line. now we're talking about entities that aren't defended by american oil and gas companies or
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high-tech manufacturing companies that aren't be defended by the u.s. government. for us it's crossing a line into a classic victim that's not prepared to with stand that type of attack. >> i've been told by former intelligence chiefs here that this has long been a major cause of concern going forward. what is the u.s. now prepared to do to defend against it? >> i think that's the case. the question is how are we going to go about improving -- what we need is a comprehensive dialogue with beijing. >> that's been the key difficulty that we've had. there obviously have been talks that involve the chinese military, but clearly now we need to have a much broader dialogue. >> we have new chinese leadership coming into play here, and the u.s. has to consider when either john kerry or president obama at a summit meeting meets with chinese leadership, we have to decide well, wait a second, china holds our debt. we need china to pressure north korea. we need china not to veto our sanctions at the u.n. on iran. what leverage do we have with
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china to go in and stop doing this? >>. >> it does provide -- >> you also in your report there's information about private companies, including coca-cola, coca-cola having been penetrated not by the chinese military, per se, but by other chinese entities or other hackers, and it could or could not have influenced the fact that coca-cola lost a contract they were bidding on because they're negotiating strategy may have been exposed. what do you say to private companies to all the rest of us who depend so heavily on, you know, internet access, about protecting our own security. >> we have to do a lot more. that's clear. i would say organizations should start by taking the report that we published. there's 3,000 technical indicators that organizations can use to detect these guys on
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their networks and work to eject them. that's where it starts. there's a lot more we have to do. we really have to increase the security in the nation's commercial industry if we're going to actually do anything to thwart this attack. >> you've been in government. there are 16 intelligence agencies who now have all privately confirmed in classified intelligence estimate that this, in fact, is taking place, and the chinese military is involved. what is it -- what's in china's interest here? i mean, there's some obvious economic benefits. >> they've had tremendous economic benefit, and it's important for underscore that this policy goes back to the reform era. it was encouraged chinese entities to do this as part of the reform in opening up process. cyber is in many ways another it rags of what they've been doing for many years. only it's a much more comprehensive tool. >>, and finally, are they far ahead of us in their ability to penetrate? >> i don't think they're ahead of us, but they're demonstrating through these attacks that they're in the game. what's striking, as was pointed out, is the fact that they seem to use these same signatures over and over again, and they see if this excellent report
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does change. >> it's a new kind of arms race. >> it is. i don't think it's going away any time soon. this is a new normal. >> the new normal. scary stuff. change your pass words. thank you both very much. >> china, of course, has flatly denied any responsibility for these cyber attacks, joix is former u.s. ambassador nicolas burns, professor of diplomacy at the harvard kennedy cool of government. nick, good to see you again. first of all, you're new secretary of state. you know john kerry well. is this the first thing you mentioned or the second thing you mentioned on your first shift to china? is this the first thing the president mentions, or something sd this have to be handled delicately? >> i think given the impact the story is having and given other reports, including the president's own reference to the state of the union address, this has to be very high up on the u.s.-china agenda for secretary kerry and for president obama because what it does, as you well know, it undercuts whatever trust there is, and it wasn't high. between the two governments. it has the potential of turning the american public, the american congress, and certainly
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the business community against china to a much greater extent than in the past, and so it makes the management of this relationship extraordinarily difficult, and by any definition this relationship with china is the most important that we have with any country in the world because of china's size, its power, the agree of economic interaction between us. it's very damaging for the chinese. now, they have a very opaque system and authority tarn system. they're not going to be able, i think, to handle this issue in any public way. our government is going to have to raise it -- what is the diplomatic significance with this hard evidence now that the military -- but the chinese army is actually the perpetrator. >> i think what's significant -- this is not a newspaper article by the "new york times". this is the report authored by one of the people you just interviewed by very reputable firm. it seems to be very solid in its methodology, hard to refute. so i think the balance of public opinion worldwide is going to be
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against china because not only are americans going to feel vulnerable as they read this, but you can imagine what the japanese, the indians, the russians are going to think if you are in business in any of those countries. how can we protect our intellectual property? how can any company protect -- >> dug the hole a little bit deeper. >> now, let me understand today from the state department that secretary kerry in rome is going to have meetings with opposition leaders from syria and there has been a new skism exposed in recent weeks where leon panetta confirmed that he and hillary clinton and others and the chairman of the joint chiefs were at some point in favor of arming the rebels more to the point that the white house disagreed. what -- where do you think we can go forward now? we're approaching the second anniversary in syria. 70,000 reported dead. and the fear that if you arm the rebels that gets into the wrong
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hands because of the increasing al qaeda and radical and iranian influence within syria so what does a new secretary of state do? >> andrea, i do think that the secretary of state kerry is right to try to go back at this problem and see if the united states can piece together a stronger alliance of countries to help the syrian resistance inside syria because that's all we've got to go on right now. assad will not stay in power forever, but he happens to be strong enough to hold on to power for the foreseeable future, for many months to come. secretary kerry has a tall task ahead of him. the united states government is going to have to ask themselves, and i'm sure they're thinking about this in the white house and state department. how long do we go before we begin to take some steps to type ofly try to weaken assad, and i mean the imposition of a no flight zone or go back to the idea of arming some of the rebel groups, not the radical islamic groups, but some of the groups that are more responsible because if we don't do that,
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then we're not going to have influenced the day that assad falls, with the people who will succeed him, and most people, andrea, as you know, now think that we're not going to see an easy transition at all. in fact, it may be that the violence gets worse after assad leaves, so i do think the united states needs to go back to the drawing board. we need to be more assertive. 70,000 people dead and that total is going to mount. hundreds of thousands of people now outside the country as refugees. hundreds of more thousands people on the roads. they've left their villages. they can't live where they had lived before. this is a desperate situation, and it requires much greater american leadership. >> nicolas burns, ambassador, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> for being with us today. >> and up next, the political briefing. the simpson-bowles reboot. you're watching andrea mitchell reports. only on msnbc.
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fda-approved to manage chronic musculoskeletal pain. one non-narcotic pill a day, every day, can help reduce this pain. tell your doctor right away if your mood worsens, you have unusual changes in mood or behavior or thoughts of suicide. anti-depressants can increase these in children, teens, and young adults. cymbalta is not for children under 18. people taking maois, linezolid or thioridazine or with uncontrolled glaucoma should not take cymbalta. taking it with nsaid pain relievers, aspirin, or blood thinners may increase bleeding risk. severe liver problems, some fatal, were reported. signs include abdominal pain and yellowing skin or eyes. tell your doctor about all your medicines, including those for migraine and while on cymbalta, call right away if you have high fever, confusion and stiff muscles or serious allergic skin reactions like blisters, peeling rash, hives, or mouth sores to address possible life-threatening conditions. talk about your alcohol use, liver disease and before you reduce or stop cymbalta. dizziness or fainting may occur upon standing. take the next step. talk to your doctor. cymbalta can help.
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>> what we felt at the end of last year was a disappointment like no other that i've ever experienced. we really felt like that was the magic moment. it was the time where we had the best chance to really do something serious about long-term fiscal reform and responsibility, and we felt it was a real lost opportunity. >> former clinton white house chief of staff erskine bowles and, of course, former republican senator alan simple son have modified their budget reduction plan outlining it today at a politico breakfast. joining us politico -- jim van de hye. >> these two have been -- the simpson bowles plan was considered the gold standard. the president kind of, sort of didn't really endorse it or embrace it. they've been very clear that they felt they did not get what
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they expected, which was the boost from the white house. they still had a lot of democrats and even republican or two going along with them, but it never took off. what have they done now to the plan to try to get a new lift? >> what they're trying to do is modify the plan. for one, the reality we just had, the tax increases in december, and also, as sort of a middle ground call between what the white house has put on the table in terms of deficit reduction and what republicans want in essentially they're calling for an additional $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction. they would get that through a combination of changes to intilgsment programs, discretionary cuts, in some tax increase, tax reform. if you listen to that full breakfast either read it or watch the full video, it's clear they're not optimistic at all that this can get done in this political environment. they felt the window was wide open in december, that there was the momentum was there to actually get a deal and the deal didn't get done, and now they're
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very down beat about the capacity of this congress, this president to work together to combat what they consider a huge, huge issue. >> now, they -- i know they were on the daily rundown today, and they were pointing out that what they're proposing in terms of retirement is hardly radical. it is changing the medicare age one year, 40 years from now. that's correct. that's really a down payment for a four decades from now on doing anything significant on entitlement. >> that speaks of the complexity of getting anything done. you know, when -- even before when they were talking about raising the medicare age last year when it was more central to the negotiations behind the scenes, they're still talking about doing it over 25 years and not starting for a long, long time. you can't even get that done. the other idea that they threw on the table was this idea of a chain cpi of just changing the indexing for the rate that these programs grow and the benefits grow and, you know, that idea at some -- had some backers inside
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the white house for a little while, but now democrats seem very cool to that. there's just not -- there's no consensus about what to do on entitlement reform even if there was consensus to do something on entitlement reform, and republicans have no interested int whatsoever in raising tax,s, and that's the whole purpose of tax reform. they want more revenue, which means for taxes through reform, and so there's not a middle ground. there's a middle ground before in december. it doesn't seem like there's a middle ground. i think that's why they were down beat. that's why sec west rags is probably going to happen in a couple of weeks. that's probably why we're going to have another budget fight when you have to do the continuing resolution a month later. there's just no -- there's no middle ground. there's very few people who even want to get in the same room and try to find that middle ground right now. >> do you have any confidence that -- let's assume that the sequester is going into effect because that's what everybody expects on both sides, that after that there will be an appetite for real negotiations that could involve some revenue, because without revenue, there is no deal as far as the white house is concerned. >> yeah. i think that's the big sticking point. the white house keeps saying,
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well, let's replace sec west rags with spending cuts and tax increases. what republicans say is we just did tax increases to the tune of $600 billion in december. we're not doing anymore. they have no interest. republicans have no interest in putting tax increases on the table, so that's where i'm saying. where is the middle ground if you don't want to do on one side, no tax increases. on the other side, you don't want to just do spending cuts. it's not -- there's not a split -- split this one in the middle type compromise to be had. sec restoration, it will be about the political pressure once it kicks in. does it really affect the economy? does it affect jobs? we already know a lot of contractors are not hiring or getting rid of people because they're not going to have as much money coming in from contracts they had with the government. if that stuff starts to hit home in the districts, maybe it bubbles up and it puts pressure on these members, but quite frankly, they felt that pressure for several weeks, several months now because people have been talking about sequestration for some time, and they haven't done anything. i'm not optimistic that they'll
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undo sec restoration. >> thanks very much. >> take care. >> coming up next, more on simpson-bowles and what retirees in florida will have to say about it. debbie wasserman-schultz, and then the big bang theory. michelle obama reveals to rachel ray the real reason behind her stylish new ' do. >> this is my midlife crisis, the bangs. i couldn't get a sports car. they won't let me bungee jump. instead i cut my bangs. with unitedhealthcare, i get personalized information and rewards for addressing my health risks. but she's still going to give me a heart attack. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare.
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bowles are back, again, as we say, with another ten-year debt reduction plan. this one including hundreds of billions of dollars and health care cuts down the road. will democrats, though, be able to swallow any of these medicare savings? florida congressman debbie wasserman-schultz chairs the national committee and joins me from sunny, florida. thank you, congressman wrosh good to see you. you have a lot of people who care about this in your district as well as, of course, across the country. let me just say a little bit of what -- >> we raise the retirement age on social security one year, 40 years from now, and one more year, 65 years from now. that was to give people a chance to get ready, but even at that -- >> say that again. say that again. >> we raise it one year 40 years from now -- >> 40 years from now. >> one more year 65 years from now, and even with that, we give the 20% of americans who have
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these back-breaking jobs we have a hardship provision in there so they can still get it earlier. >> that, of course, was erskine bowles with alan simpson as his wing man. is that something you could sell in your district, 40 years down the road, one year on the retirement age? >> well, look, let's set aside social security for a moment because i think there's pretty widespread agreement that social security is not the cause of our deficit problem. we do have a problem related with health care related expenses, and so medicare and its sole vensy is something that we do need to get a handle on a little more urgently than social security. i mean, andrea, we have to do something about social security, but we have the time -- i mean, really until i'm in my 80s social security is going to be solvent, so what weather it comes to medicare sole vensy, we already added eight years of sole vensy to medicare through the affordable care act by squeezing savings out of medicare on the provider side. president obama's $4 trillion
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grand bargain plan has another about $360 billion in savings, so before we start increasing the eligibility age or talking about that for any of these entitlement programs, let's make sure that we have rung all the savings we can before we start impacting middle class americans. i mean, that's how my contich went look at it. >> that's how you your constituents look at it, but given the scale of the deficit problem down the road and the fact that medicare and other health programs will not be there down the road unless something is begun now in terms of legislative action, it could be trirging -- >> there's no question. >> isn't it the responsibility of leaders to start outlining these kinds of steps? the president has spoken about entitlement changes. >> yes. >> he needs some partners on the hill in both parties, and we're willing to take it up. >> absolutely. >> absolutely. democrats in the house and senate joined president obama and have said that there are savings that we absolutely need
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to squeeze out of the medicare and medicaid as well as a social security program. andrea, we're not even done phasing in the last change to social security and fully implementing age 67 from the last -- the last reforms, and, look, every year that you delay the eligibility, and president obama has already said that medicare -- an increase in the medicare eligibility sage off the table. we have to deal with savings we know elizabeth directly impact benefits. if you saw the daily life of so many of my constituents who are living, you know, just on their social security and cover their health care bills barely on medicare, some who have to, you know, even score their pills so they can break them in half and double the length of time that prescriptions last. i mean, these are people that are living only on substisence earnings.
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we have to make sure to shore them up and do it in a way that doesn't harm current beneficiaries, and we have to make sure when it comes to deficit reduction that we stay a balanced approach. the middle class needs to make sure that we protect them first, and the republicans -- i mean, i'm home in my district today. so are the -- so is the entire congress. why are -- a week and a half to go, why aren't we in washington hammering out a compromise? democrats are at the table ready to compromise. republicans, what they're doing is they're insisting on a cuts only approach to avoid the sequester and reduce the deficit and ask nothing more of the wealthiest americans. let's close the loopholes that the wealthiest americans benefit from and generate some revenue. let's make responsible spending cuts so we avoid laying off first responders. we avoid kicking 70,000 kids off of head start and much worse. we can do it. we just have to have a coalition of the willing, and there are many, many democrats who are sitting there waiting for republicans to join us in that
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coalition. >> let's just stipulate late that according to simpson bowles, and they just unveiled the plan today, it would be an opt out for 20% of those who are the people you are talking about who are scoring their medicines who would not be affected by any of these changes even 40 years from now. that said, don't you all need to be in washington? i know -- >> yes. no question. >> isn't everyone going to be blamed? i mean, people in america are so fed up with this. they're not going to say, well, you know, congresswoman schultz is in florida, but she was willing to talk, but the republicans are the leaders, and at the wouldn't run negotiations. somebody has to break through this log jam. >> you're right. we can't -- i can't break through a log jam sitting here in davie, florida. that's why democrats in the house voted against the motion to adjourn at the end of last week because we knew that we needed to stay and get this done, and work it out. we can't -- we can't operate
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under crisis management from crisis to crisis the way the republicans have insisted on operating. i mean, we have a fragile recovery that we need to continue to sustain and improve upon so that we can reach a robust recovery. you can be darn sure that if the republicans allow the sequester to kick in, then a robust recovery is going to be much further down the road, and you're going to have real people suffering. it's unnecessary. we need to come to the table and work together. we need to protect the middle class and make sure we avoid the sequester and reduce our deficit, finish the $4 trillion that president obama has proposed in deficit reduction, and the republicans are continuing to cling to protecting the wealthiest, most fortunate americans as their top priority. we want to protect the middle class. >> debbie awayserman-schultz. thank you very much. we have to leave it there. >> up next we go to south africa. oscar pistorius giving his version in court of what happened on that terrible night. stay with us right here at andrea mitchell reports.
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in a bail hearing this morning olympian blade runner oscar pistorius was charged with a premeditated murder of his girlfriend reeva steenkamp. pistorius we want as his affidavit was read aloud in the courtroom. a private funeral, meanwhile, was held for steenkamp, a model and law graduate. that in her hometown today. rojid was in the courtroom today. talk to me about what happened in the courtroom. complicated emotional case. >> very well complicated and incredibly emotional today. andrea, the prosecution has outlined the case against oscar pistorius. they described their pistorius estate. and described their events of the hours leading up to the shooting of reeva steenkamp. they claimed will had been some sort of a rile at his high
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security home. they claimed that he put on his prosthetic legs and that he walked for seven meters across a room where he fired a 9 millimeter pistol into a bathroom door. she sat on the other side and she eventually was killed, dying in his arms. now, his defense lawyers say that's not what happened. he thought that an intruder had genuinely entered his home in the middle of the night. he was described about how he was incredibly concerned about his security. he received death threats before. he said he became filled with fear when he heard the commotion. he shot at her because it was a tragic accident and genuinely felt they were both in danger on valentine morning. >> apparently in the affidavit, he explains the cricket bat by saying he used to bash the door through, is that part of the explanation? >> reporter: that's right. there was speculation about what
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relevance, this cricket bat had played. a great deal of it played out in the australian media. he said he took this cricket bat to bash through the locked bathroom because he was trying to save her. he knew what happened, according to the affidavit, he ignored advice to wait for paramedics to get there. he tried treat her on the scene according to his version of events but she eventually died in his arms, andrea. >> thank you very much. what political story will be making headlines in the next 24 hours that's next. at optionsxpress we're all about options trading.
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so which political story will make headlines in the next 24 hours, chris, what are you looking at? >> john kerry, sort of newly minted secretary of state, andrea, giving his first address on foreign policy at the university of virginia tomorrow before heading out to europe and the middle east in his first of
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big official trips. so this is, i think, john kerry kind of outlining his vision for what the secretary of state, can, will and should do in american's foreign policy decision going forward. sort of a benchmark speech right before he saids out. >> we'll be tracking all of that. thank you very much, chris. that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports. "and my colleague tamron hall has what's next on "newsnation." >> hi, getting the political upper hand. president obama uses the public to put a lot of pressure on republicans today to pass his proposals to offset the sequester. the president's opponent, wasting no time firing back. we'll tell you what both side, saying as the clock is ticking yet again. and gas prices now at a four-month high. in fact, for three straight days, gas prices have gone up. what's going on? we'll have the details coming up on "newsnation." ved my mother-iw your chicken noodle soup
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